Intel's microchip monopoly under fire from European Union

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After long pursuit of Microsoft, EU competition regulators have turned their attention to chipmaker Intel's tactics against rival AMD ahead of the next generation of fast processors. editor Alan Shipman reports.

The European Union (EU) has launched an anti-monopoly action against microchip maker Intel, mirroring a probe already under way in the US.

Europe's competition regulators want to know why Intels market share has climbed back towards 80% this year, even though its main rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) knocked it back to 75% in 2006 on the strength of what many testers viewed as equally good products.

The suspicion in Brussels is that Intel has gone beyond the normal discounts to bulk buyers of its own chips, and paid them extra to delay the i...

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